Democrats are continuing to make positive showings in early vote totals out of Georgia.
Overall, more voters have participated in early voting in the state than had done so at this point before the election in 2018. Turnout is somewhat below 2020, although the presidential election and the increased levels of mail-in voting because of the COVID-19 pandemic make that an inefficient comparison. Democrats are also several percentage points ahead of their share of the early vote at this point before the election in 2018. As of Sunday afternoon, TargetSmart — a political analytics firm — reported Dems were at 49 percent of this year’s early vote, compared to 44.8 percent of the vote at this pre-election point during the last midterms. In 2018, Republicans had cast more early votes in Georgia, but now, Republicans sunk to 41.2 percent of the total already cast.
Partisan affiliations of these voters are estimated based on internal modeling at TargetSmart. The figures reflect neither the partisan registration of voters (who in Georgia don’t pre-register with a specific party) nor the contents of votes. Among young voters, who are often although not irrevocably associated with the Democratic Party, turnout is also up in Georgia, from over 195,000 votes cast at this point before the election in 2018 to nearly 211,000 cast so far this year. (These votes are from voters 18 to 29.) As the results in Georgia of the 2020 presidential election proved, a comparatively minuscule portion of the total of votes cast can swing the outcome. The increase in young voter turnout is (in numerical terms) already larger than Biden’s 2020 winning margin in the state of Georgia. In this age group, Democrats are estimated at 62.4 percent of the vote cast so far, which is eight percent higher than their pre-election share in 2018 as of the same juncture.
Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia this year, has spoken about how high turnout isn’t enough to mean voter suppression isn’t an issue. There are still hurdles which certain voters might have difficulty overcoming, and just like a comparatively small number of voters casting ballots could swing the election, a comparatively smaller total kept from casting ballots could also impact a race. Also, it doesn’t matter much in real-world terms what Republicans claim about their original intentions. Essentially pointless difficulties in casting ballots still amount to suppression. “While we have been focused myopically on the spectacle of Donald Trump and his election denial and the chorus he’s been able to build, quietly men like Brian Kemp have been doing something even more insidious, and that is putting barriers in place to deny access,” Abrams said. She has been behind Kemp, the Republican incumbent, in polling, but she has characterized surveys as not necessarily accurately capturing Georgians’ opinions.